Monday, January 31, 2005

Trader Joe's a go-go

There is a god! I discovered a Trader Joe's only 10 miles from my parent's place. Bring on the dried fruit and rice crackers!

Friday, January 28, 2005

On Racism, Part 1

By now, most of you reading this have figured out that there is no particular rhythm to what I post. Sometimes I'll update you on the nuances of my life, other times I'll post something that is silly and fun, but most of the time, I use this as a personal journal to keep tabs on my own very egotistical of me. This entry (and maybe a couple of others in the future) fall into the last category.

I'm gonna write about racism...I've addressed this topic in a lot of my personal writing and poetry but I tend not to share my thoughts too extensively because I think I possess a sometimes harsh, almost militant opinion about the state of racism in this country. But then again, if you are reading this at all you know me well enough to know that I can be quite contentious, ballsy, and incorrigible when pushed. As my friend NG likes to say, "I've never seen Bo get anger but I already know I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that wrath." Damn, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of my anger!

So, what sparked this sudden need to pontificate on the state of racism? Yesterday, around 3am, a 28 year old, actress/playwrite from Brooklyn was shot and killed in what apparently was an unsuccessful mugging. The incident occurred on Ludlow St. in the LES. According to newspaper reports, two young men approached the victim and her fiance shortly after they left the bar Max Fish and asked for their money. When the fiance refused and pushed his way through the two young men, he was pistlewhipped by one of them. The young woman, NOT a native New Yorker, rather then turning over her money and running away (isn't that what you would have done if someone pistlewhipped your fiance and asked for your money?) proceeded to taunt the two assailants and said "What are you going to do, shoot us next?" (This was her fiance's account of the events.) One of the assailants then proceeded to shoot the woman. The bullet entered her body about two inches from her heart. She died soon after.

Now, you're probably wonder how this heinous act of violence could get me so riled up about the state of racism in this country. Well, if you notice, I never once stated the race of either the woman, her fiance, or the two assailants but I bet in the minds of many of you the woman and her fiance were white and the assailants were black. You'd actually be correct. That was the racial composition of the individuals involved. The thing about all of this that is upsetting to me (other than the loss of life) is that this news item was splashed all over last nights 11 o'clock news and again on the front page of nearly every newspaper this morning. It even got its own newsline on the front page of the NY Times website. I understand that violent crime is down in the city and that incidences like this aren't normal occurrences on the LES (well, at least during the past 5 - 7 years) but my hypothesis is that if the victim was not an attractive, white, upper-middle class woman who died in the arms of her white, good-looking, upper-middle class fiances it would have never made the 11 o'clock news, let along the front page of nearly ever newspaper. Dozens of people, most black and Hispanic, died over the past couple of days. Some were violent individuals whose days were numbered but many were innocent bystanders. Why aren't their stories on the front page of the Daily News? Several homeless people died over the past several days, frozen to death by the arctic temperatures we have been experiencing here in the city. There stories, at least to me, are far more tragic then this one woman's. Those homeless men lived lives of complete destitution and their lives ended in the worst possible way - cold, hungry, and alone. If anything, up until the moment that the poor woman died, her life was relatively happy and healthy. She was loved by a good man, they had a happy home, her career was moderately successful, and her childhood in Key West, FL seemed tranquil.

Racism is so pervasive in this country and so much of it is invisible. To some extent, I think the state of racism in this country was much healthier back when people openly walked around in white sheets. At least you knew where everyone stood and you knew what you were fighting. Racism still exists in today's society but has become so uncool and unPC few people will admit to their bias. Actually, I think a lot of people are probably unaware of their subconscious racism and bias. And that is the scary element of modern day racism. Few people consciously acknowledge their racism and yet they continue to unconsciously act on it. When you call them out as a racist they will vehemently deny their bias and refuse to change. Their unconscious racism festers and they continue to discriminate and treat people poorly without acknowledging their nastiness.

We're all just a little bit racist. Hell, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a racist. But at least I admit it and I try to intellectually not act on my biases. I may unconsciously act on my racism, but I try to be uber-vigilant when I'm in a situation where this may occur and I try to stop myself if I do find myself doing something discriminatory.

Here's a little case study (yeah, can you tell I'm a consultant and I went to business school!):

I'm basically the rainbow coalition when it comes to dating. No one is off limits (and no jokes about how I don't date Asian men! That's another case study on racism). However, I know for a fact that I am highly suspect of white men (hey, I went to business school. cut me some slack.) I know I go on hyper-racism watch dog mood whenever I date one. I'm looking for anything that might hint at even a whiff of unconscious racism. I'm not this way when I date black, Hispanic, or Jewish men. Only when I date your typical WASP (or there about). I know it affects how I behave and that I shouldn't be this way, but sometimes I can't help it. At least I'm aware of this bias and I try to change and I try not to hurt anyone in the process. That's the best I can hope for.

As someone who has spent the last 8 years (oh! I'm getting old) working in the field of change management I have learned one important thing...When trying to initiate change the first step requires making the invisible visible. Take all the invisible barriers for change and make them visible. How many people in popular media today is asking themself whether the coverage of the young woman's murder was racially biased? I doubt many are. What kind of sussurus (!!!!) does this news coverage plant in the minds of our communities? That the death of a white woman is more important than the death of 12 black men? One can never know for sure. The next time you meet a person of color and they have a chip on their shoulder, think back to all the small papercuts that may have created that sustained level of hurt and anger.

Or maybe I'm just crazy?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Word of the Day: Susurrus


Definition: A soft, whispering or rustling sound; a murmur

I think I've discovered my new favorite word. I'm sorry 'TUNGSTEN', we had some good times. But alas, you are no match for 'SUSURRUS'.

I'm gonna try and figure out a way to work it into a poem.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Sometimes the best possible thing to do is swear up a storm that sends old ladies and little children running and makes even the toughest of merchant marines blush.

Our society has a problem. We like to label things as good or bad, when in essence very few things are entirely good or entirely bad. Like sex...and ice cream...and swearing. A well timed and phrased "Motherf*cker" can be quite liberating.

And here's another thing that makes swearing so marvelous and universal, no matter what language is being spoken, you always know when someone is swearing.

Or maybe I'm okay with swearing because I know that I am quite capable of expressing myself in far more erudite ways.

Jan. 24th called worst day of the year!


No wonder I've been sensing all this bad mojo lately...Some british psychologist dude calculated that yesterday, Jan. 24th was the most "depressing day."

First Fluffy the goldfish says bye-bye, then Johnny Carson.

I need a massage!

The Tortoise and the Hippo

This story made me happy. To answer Rodney Kings eponymous question "Can't we all just get along?" Yes, sometimes we can...

Friday, January 21, 2005


Nightmares are odd things. They are not real but they often have the ability to psychologically scar you in ways that reality cannot. I don't have nightmares often , for better or worse. It seems that what I lack in frequency my mind makes up for in intensity. Last night I had a nightmare, the first in nearly 6 or 7 months, maybe even longer. And I woke up screaming at 4:30AM. Of course, the sudden wakefullness resulted in the lingering memory of nearly every detail.

My nightmares are different from Hollywood's cliched depiction of the dream world. I'm not chased by faceless bandits or confronted by hidious monsters. My nightmares are always rooted in the obscenely normal world of errands and deadlines and appointment to chat with a friend over coffee. Car accidents, false accusations, misunderstandings, misplaced trust,'s like dreaming up my own mini-soap opera. The mimicing of reality may be the reason why my nightmares often influence the operating of my cognizant, wakeful mind.

I woke up this morning achy and tired...and I'm not sure if this is a result of the nightmare or the mystery sickness that I've been fighting off all week.

Far Sighted

Far Sighted

The closer you stand before me
The more nebulous and obscure
You become
The delicious distance that defines
You and I
Has all but disappeared
Like the tinting of blood into milk
Pink, infectious, and uninviting

Articulate space, once in abundance
Now traded as a luxury
I refuse to see you for what
You so distinctly are
Molding you into
My expectations

How is it that we refuse to
Accept what each brings forth
When we so readily
Embrace the chasms of spirit
In so many others

You have no memory for pain
For better or worse
Again you draw closer to me
Even as I slighter
A stalwart in what should be
Ever evolving
Ever tinting

Friday, January 14, 2005

A poem in a minute

Sometimes when my mind gets stuck I force myself to write a poem in one minute...60 seconds. This usually helps shake out the cobwebs and get me functioning again. Last night I got four hours of sleep...this is what I came up with between 3:16 and 3:17 PM.

1/14/05 3:16PM

Pattern was never satisfied
So she would repeat herself
Over and over again

The indentations became deeper
And she left the cracks
Unattended until they
Became large gashes
Glowering red abyss
Tempting her to pay attention
Calling out to her
In fiery pained shrieking

Pattern could not stop herself
Momentum was her friend
Together they would
Run rampant filling the
Empty spaces once pristine
And profane

Now filled with their
Dizzy, sickly, lines and dashes
Walls and floors and ceiling
Now covered in their chaos
In their impatience
In their avoidance

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Momma Advice: Redux

So, because of various events in my life, my mother has decided that I am no longer requiring of her advice on men, marriage, and the height of my shoes. So now she's turned her attention on giving me advice about how to get my older sister hitched. The woman is relentless. Here are a few gems to for your laughing delight.

"Tell your sister that we are a traditional family and the younger daughters can't get married until the oldest daughter gets married first. That'll guilt her into getting married."

"Doesn't she feel like a third wheel when she visits all of her married friends."

"It's about time she gets some wedding presents. She's given enough away."

"Do you think she has a problem talking to men? Is there a class for that?"

"Maybe she should quit her job and get something less stressful. That'll make her a nicer person."

My mother is insane. And I haven't started on what she thinks about my little sisters long term boyfriend.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


To: My Head
From: My Shoes

Please remember to take us to the shoe repair store. We don't like having broken heels. Plus, we're cute...we need to get out more.

To: Juice Machine
From: My Mouth

Quit it with the carrot juice already. Yeah...yeah...its good for me and it tastes good...but three days of carrot juice is're gonna make her orange.

To: The tin of glazed nuts on my desk
From: My Fingers

Why are you so tasty? I can't resist you. Quit being so tasty. You're gonna make us fat.

To: My Nalgene bottle
From: My Nose

You smell funny. I think you need to be sterilized.

Monday, January 10, 2005


One bit of wisdom that growing older has bequeathed me is the knowledge and acceptance of the fact that we are all broken in some way...emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually, mentally. We don't often think about being broken and we often choose to use more gentle language to describe our brokenness...quirks, differences, variances, history...whatever.

I like to think of it as plain old broken. Broken is not is what it is. It's not that my brokenness makes me flawed or less simply communicates that there are little bits and pieces of myself that are a bit more jagged than most and if you get too close to the jagged little edges you are liable to hurt both yourself and me.

The leason learned when one admits to being broken is that you are then asking others around you to take a bit more care and gentleness when engaging you. That's a good thing to remember and a good reason to live a life of gentle and considered never know how people are broken until you risk breaking them some more.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Gates and other modern art

As part of my on-going missions is to bring the world of modern dance and art to my friends and family I introduce you to Christo and Jeanne-Claude, a husband and wife team of artists who develop HUGE installation pieces around the world. Christo and Jeanne-Claude are best known for their wrapped pieces...basically they go around the world and wrap big stuff...the Reichstag, trees, etc...

Yesterday, in Central Park, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began installation of their newest piece "The Gates"

"The Gates" encompasess a series of steel gates (duh!) from whence saffron colored sheets of fabric will be suspended. The gates will line approximately 23 miles of Central Park's trails and will range in size from 5' 6" to 18 feet. The instillation of the piece will run from Jan. 3 - Feb. 12. The Gates will then be up in the city for 16 days. The total cost of the piece is $20 million and is completely self-financed. Try to catch a gander of the installation if you plan to be in the city at any point and time in the next two months.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's next piece will entail wrapping the Arkansas River in Colorado under miles of semi-translucent fabric.

On a slightly different bent, the International Center for Photography (ICP) is running an interesting exhibit on the identify and implications of whiteness The exhibit runs until Feb. 27th. I had a chance to catch the show over the weekend. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the exhibit. It was interesting on many levels. First and foremost, this is the first exhibit of its kind - examining the white race utilizing themes traditionally only used by blacks, asians, latinos etc... On the one hand, it's interesting that at this time in history someone would even consider pulling together an exhibit of this nature. What are the implications? Well, the first thing that jumps to mind is that it is a positive step in breaking down the assumption that because the white race is the "dominant" race in this country and its influence so pervasive, it does not need to be examined. The mere existance of the show is a clear indicator (well, at least to me) that the assumption that "white is right" is no longer true. The white race is quickly losing its hold on the racial mix of the US and the community is now finally starting to realize it must question itself within the context of American culture. I also had the great fortune of attending the show with a white friend and getting his perspective on the topic.

And while you're at the ICP...check out the Ralph Eugene Meatyard exhibit downstairs. What a wonderful surprise.

Oh...modern yummy!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Shout out to Momix!

Have you ever:

> Watched an art performance transfixed, unable to blink, divert your gaze, or even breathe?
> Wondered in awe at the potential of the human body and the human imagination?
> Walked out of a theater only to realize that your life is completely altered, your perceptions of reality, time, beauty, and space transformed?

If you have, then you've probably already seen the dance troupe Momix perform. If not, then I say, get thee to the Momix website ( and find out if they will be performing in your 'hood.

It was with great delight that I learned this morning that Momix will once again be visiting New York City in May for several performances at the Joyce Theater. They will be performing their inspiring Opus Cactus as well as a new piece!!!! I'll be attending at least one performance of each piece. Anyone wanna join me?

I want to provide you with more description but I feel my puny little brain and vocabulary would only taint the exquisite beauty of their work. Momix is best appreciated first hand. Trust me, you won't be sorry you saw them. Not often do you get to appreciate how much good there still is in this world...for surely good still exists if people are able to think and create on this level.